Maitland Morning Monitor – Monday 17 July 2017

17th July 2017

Market Information

London stocks are poised to open with mild gains after rises in Asia this morning and following on from Friday's improvement on Wall St.

The corporate and economic diaries are largely bare, although Rightmove data out earlier this morning showed UK house prices were up 0.1% in July, from a 0.4% fall in June.

In the news

  • Chancellor Philip Hammond has called for a Brexit transition deal to give business a two-year cushion after the UK leaves the EU.
  • Uber has announced it will suspend operations in Chinese-controlled territory Macau.
  • Growth in China has stayed steady at an annual rate of 6.9%, outperforming expectations for the second quarter in a row.

Top Financial Announcements

* Maitland Client

easyJet PLC Directorate Change
  • easyJet plc announces that Carolyn McCall has advised the Board of her intention to leave easyJet in order to become CEO of ITV plc.
  • She is expected to leave easyJet around the end of the year. In the meantime, Carolyn will continue with her existing responsibilities.
  • John Barton, easyJet Chairman, said: “Carolyn built and led the management team that has transformed easyJet’s performance in every respect since 2010. She will leave easyJet well set for future success. Her successor will inherit a leadership team of strength and depth, engaged people and loyal passengers flying on Europe’s best network.”
ITV PLC Directorate Change
  • ITV plc today announces that Carolyn McCall is to join the Board as Chief Executive.
  • Carolyn joins ITV from easyJet where she has been Chief Executive for seven years. Prior to easyJet, Carolyn was Group Chief Executive of the Guardian Media Group.
  • Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of ITV plc, said: “In a very impressive field of high calibre candidates, Carolyn stood out for her track record in media, experience of an international operation, clear strategic acumen and strong record of delivering value to shareholders. I’m delighted we’ll be working together at ITV.”
Financial Conduct Authority FCA sets out scope of Investment Platforms Market Study
  • The FCA has today launched its review of the online investment market having announced plans to investigate the Investment Platforms in its recent asset management market study.
  • The regulator will look at how platforms compete in practice and whether they use their bargaining power to get investors a good deal.
  • Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said: “The FCA welcomes feedback on the topics we will explore by 8 September 2017. The FCA aims to publish an interim report by summer 2018 which will set out preliminary conclusions and any potential remedies to address concerns.”
Centrica PLC Joint Venture
  • Centrica PLC and Stadtwerke München GmbH have reached an agreement to combine Centrica’s European oil and gas exploration and production business with Bayerngas Norge AS to form a newly incorporated joint venture and create a leading independent European E&P company.
  • This creates a robust, self-financing entity with an attractive financial profile, enabling organic and inorganic reinvestment and distributions.
  • Iain Conn, Group Chief Executive of Centrica plc, said: “We are convinced that by combining our E&P activities we will create an even stronger and more sustainable business. With its similar background and strategy, Centrica is an ideal partner to develop and grow this joint venture together.”
Carillion PLC Carillion appoints EY to support strategic review
  • Carillion announces that it has appointed the professional services firm, EY, with immediate effect to support its strategic review with a particular focus upon cost reduction and cash collection.
  • Keith Cochrane, Interim Chief Executive, said: “We are moving forward quickly with the actions outlined last week. Alongside our own efforts, EY will provide support across the business and bring an external perspective to our cost reduction and cash collection challenge. My priorities are to reduce the Group’s net debt and create a balance sheet that will support Carillion going forward.”
Carillion PLC HS2 Contract Award
  • Carillion is pleased to announce that the CEK joint venture partnership consisting of Carillion, Eiffage and Kier, has been successful in its bid for the C2 and C3 contracts.
  • Keith Cochrane, Interim CEO, Carillion, said:”We are delighted that our Joint Venture, CEK, has been selected to deliver two of the three Central contracts for HS2 Phase 1, the London to Birmingham section of the route, reflecting the strength of our Joint Venture. We look forward to working in close collaboration with HS2 to deliver this iconic project.”
Balfour Beatty PLC Balfour Beatty joint venture to be awarded two HS2 contracts
  • Balfour Beatty today announces its notification of intent to be awarded two contracts by High Speed 2 (HS2), worth a combined total of c. £2.5bn.
  • The two contracts have been awarded to Balfour Beatty’s 50:50 joint venture with VINCI.
  • Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “This is a generational engineering project. Balfour Beatty’s joint venture with VINCI has world-class capability in this area and our selection as preferred bidder for two sections is a major endorsement of our strength.”
Weir Group PLC Trading Statement
  • In recent weeks, upstream North American markets have recovered more strongly than formerly anticipated.
  • Assuming supportive market conditions continue, the division is now expected to deliver low-teens operating margins through the second half with full year revenues and operating profits that are above the upper end of analysts’ estimates.
  • The updated outlook for the Group’s full year performance is now for strong constant currency revenue and profit growth. As previously indicated, profits will be weighted to the second half of the year.
NB Global Floating Rate Income Fund Portfolio Update - 30 June 2017
  • Current portfolio yield up 4.53%.
  • Number of investments at 363.
  • The Portfolio, as at 30th June 2017 (excluding cash) was split 90.95% USD, 7.12% EUR, 1.93% GBP.